Gamer father showed his power, but the Japanese Internet thinks he might not have displayed much wisdom.

Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been the biggest video game hit of the holiday season in Japan. As the fifth entry in the series, which started in 1999 and features lovable characters from across Nintendo’s flagship franchises, its mix of depth and pick-up-and-play accessibility makes it a great choice for both parents and kids who enjoy gaming.

▼ If a game lets you play as both Pikachu and Richter Belmont, it’s definitely got some all-ages appeal.

However, a recent Smash session between Japanese Twitter user @amour_rapid and his son was no episode of multi-generational bonding. In a now-protected tweet, @amour_rapid said:

“Recently my son has been saying he wants to become a pro gamer, so I didn’t hold back at all against him playing Smash Brothers, and I beat him so badly that he started crying his eyes out.”

Online reactions to @amour_rapid’s parenting technique were split. Some proclaimed this was a case of a father with a proud warrior spirit tearing down his haughty son’s overconfidence, so that true strength would grow in its place…or at least a dad showing his kid that though e-sports have become a thing, there’s stratum upon stratum of skill level above his son’s current having-fun-amateur level, and the process of trying to rise through the ranks might not be enjoyable, especially when he’s facing off against opponents in money-paying tournaments where no mercy is shown.

But on the other side of the discussion were people like Twitter user @isikusu, who works as a freelance video game scriptwriter.

“It’s kind of a funny story, and it seems like a lot of people are accepting of what the dad did. But when adults show such harsh realities to kids just as they start talking about their dreams, especially if they’re the kids’ parents, I think the kids aren’t crying because they couldn’t win, but because they feel betrayed by the adult. What do those adults hope to accomplish by snipping children’s dreams in the bud?

@isikusu statement generated comments of agreement from other Twitter users, such as:

“I saw a lot of people saying ‘If the kid can bounce back from that, he’ll be a real competitor,’ but people only get the strength to bounce back if they enjoy what they’re doing enough to want to keep doing it.”

“Now his son is going to have it imprinted on his mind that every time he has a dream, his parent is going to crush it. I think the poor kid is going to grow up to be the kind of person who gives up on anything right away.”

“He’ll end up as the kind of person who doesn’t do what he wants to do, but whatever his parents won’t object to, and his ability to be independent or proactive will die in the process.”

“The dad sounds pretty immature. Wouldn’t it have been better to just have fun playing the game together and give his kid a happy memory?”

In a follow-up tweet, @isikusu remained adamant that thrashing the kid (or at least his on-screen character) was the wrong thing to do.

“It’s pretty much the same as if a child said ‘I want to be a scientist,’ and then you suddenly made him take a college entrance exam, so that he’d cry when he couldn’t answer the questions…”

Judging from the fact that @amour_rapid’s son cried after losing in a video game, it’s probably safe to assume that he’s still pretty young, and like the hypothetical would-be scientist @isikusu mentions, the true gatekeeper test for his dream (professional-level competition and psychological stress) is still several years off. However, it’s a test he’s going to have to pass someday if he wants to make gaming his job.

It’s worth pointing out that @amour_rapid didn’t explain what happened after his son’s post-defeat tears. If he simply laughed and gloated (like a certain other gamer dad who had it in for his daughter’s Guilty Gear-loving boyfriend), he’s probably just a jerk. On the other hand, if he turned the situation into a learning opportunity by explaining, “See? That’s how far you have to go to reach your goal, so are you willing to put in the time and effort to get there?” maybe with a gentle reminder of “You should keep studying hard in school, since becoming a pro gamer might not be as easy or as fun as you think,” then his heart was probably in the right place, unorthodox methods notwithstanding.

Source: Twitter/@amour_rapid, Twitter/@isikusu via Hachima Kiko
Top image: YouTube/Super Smash Bros.

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he says Richter is the best Belmont, and Rondo of Blood is the best Castlevania game.